Food Stamp Enrollment Numbers Reach Lowest Levels Since 2011

| by Sasha Melendez-Goldman
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Food stamp enrollment reached the lowest monthly figure since 2011. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recorded 45.6 million Americans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as of February. The SNAP monthly enrollment figure has not dropped below 46 million since August, 2011, with 45.8 million participants, The Huffington Post reports.

The USDA undersecretary for nutrition, Kevin Concannon said in an emailed statement, “SNAP is designed to be responsive to the economy, and this downward trend is an encouraging sign that the economic recovery is reaching struggling families.

“The best way to reduce spending in the program is to continue improving the economy," he continued, "connect recipients with job training and job placement assistance, and raise the minimum wage so working families can afford to make ends meet."

As a result of the Great Recession the amount of Americans who qualified for SNAP benefits nearly doubled. In 2007, the USDA recorded a total enrollment of 27 million, compared to 47 million in 2012.

Due to an improving economy and new enrollment restrictions, SNAP enrollment is expected to continue its downward trend. Many states have been tightening their SNAP restrictions as the unemployment rate drops. As a consequence, the Center of Budgets and Policy Priorities has projected an enrollment decrease of one million next year.

Source: The Huffington Post

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt,